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Handy (Jam) OrganizationLucky Strike Cigarette Commercial: Square Dance (1948)

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Lucky Strike cigarette commercial with stop-motion animation of square-dancing cigarettes.


This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives

Producer: Handy (Jam) Organization
Sponsor: American Tobacco Company
Audio/Visual: Sd, B&W
Keywords: Advertising: Television commercials; Substance abuse: Tobacco; Animation: Stop-motion

Creative Commons license: Public Domain


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Reviews
Average Rating: 4.17 out of 5 stars4.17 out of 5 stars4.17 out of 5 stars4.17 out of 5 stars

Reviewer: bgrauman - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - April 18, 2009
Subject: One of tTHE first filmed cigarette commercials on TV...
The American Tobacco Company was the first major tobacco advertiser to sponsor a "national" TV program {the short-lived "BARNEY BLAKE, POLICE REPORTER", on NBC} in 1948. They were thinking about the future of television advertising, and wanted something unique for one of their first filmed commercials. So they asked Jam Handy, who produced several "commercial" theatrical films sponsored by them over the years [best known of these was 1943's "Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco", featuring performances by Frank Sinatra ("YOUR HIT PARADE") and Kay Kyser's orchestra ("THE KOLLEGE OF MUSICAL KNOWLEDGE"), stars of Luckies' radio shows at the time, interspersed with "behind-the-scenes" footage of tobacco auctions and the manufacture of their brand] to create a commercial that would grab the viewers' attention. They came up with a stop-motion animated "cigarette square dance", primarily aimed at rural viewers who were among Luckies' most influential customers...and it was a success, and one of the most talked-about ads in the advertising and tobacco industries. It was virtually a blueprint for the kind of commercials we see to this day....

Reviewer: Mr. Schmacke - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - March 6, 2008
Subject: best reviews
this item has the best reviews for me up to now! really funny, thanx colleagues! the film is like a dance on the vulcano.

Reviewer: Robin_1990 - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - March 6, 2008
Subject: Great Commercial, But NOT their best
This is quite a fun commercial, with a clever idea, But I wish other Lucky Strike commercials would be uploaded to the Internet Archive.

Reviewer: elocina - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - March 31, 2007
Subject: clever stop-motion animation
This is quite a novelty for me as I was born after laws were passed banning cigarette ads from U.S. TV. I think it's great that this is here as it could be of historical value to people looking at the history of cigarette marketing.

Reviewer: schadenfreude88 - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - September 20, 2006
Subject: LS/MFT or LS-D?
Hey what kind of cigarettes are those anyway, square dancing to Turkey in the Straw like that. Kind of trippy to me. Not the best of classic cigarette commercials, but a good one nonetheless. Anyone got a light?

Reviewer: mjdart - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - August 15, 2006
Subject: Lucky Strike is pretty Kool
I really though this was a clever arrangement and worth watching.

Reviewer: Jon Behrens - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - April 2, 2006
Subject: SMOKE EM IF YOU GOT EM!!
I own a print of this little gem it is nice to see on the archive. This film was one of the very first adds to be made for television. and one of a set of 6 adds that were done for Lucky Strike that employed stop motion photography. A MUST SEE!! ENJOY!!

Reviewer: greg.james.smith - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - October 28, 2005
Subject: What the boys thought it stood for
I was talking to my father-in-law about this add the slogan. He says that all the boys his age had a different meaning for LSMFT. It was Lose Straps Make for Floppy Tits. Sorry for being crude, just thought it would being a lot of memorys back.

Reviewer: randomc - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - September 10, 2005
Subject: The horror! Oh, the humanities...
Personally, I was appalled when the square dance caller chose to suicide by self-immolation.

On the other hand, we can all see what drove him to it.

So, even though this is about cigarettes, it's really a snuff film.

Reviewer: tmaaz - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - June 4, 2005
Subject: The Meaning of L.S./M.F.T. --
For those of you who are not familiar with the Lucky Strike commercials, "L.S./M.F.T." stood for "Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco" -- they used this slogan so much, it was more ingrained into the social psyche than the California Rasins ever got to us.

As a side piece of trivia: for quite a while, there was a radio show called the "Lucky Strike Radio Hour", featuring comedian Jack Benny and his team. During those shows, you would hear at least one or two Lucky Strike "L.S/M.F.T." spots during the show.

Reviewer: FP - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - May 24, 2005
Subject: Heavens, haven't you seen the crazy version?
This commercial has been "remixed" by a talentless hobbyist, and that version is a must-see:

http://www.archive.org/details/CANT_STRIKE

Reviewer: Frinkiac7 - 2.00 out of 5 stars2.00 out of 5 stars - May 22, 2005
Subject: Cigarettes dont have hands
What were the initials he was yelling out? LSD? Hardly surprising then that so many people smoked back in those days.
If I had a nickle for every time I was at a square dance and the caller's head caught on fire at the end...

Reviewer: Spuzz - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - May 14, 2005
Subject: LS..LS..MFT!
I've seen this ad at LEAST 10+ times now, (not neccesarily here), and I still can't get enough of this classic ad. The whole square dancing cigarettes, the INSANE jingle and the whole production level of this is truly amazing. I hardly DOUBT this prompted people to smoke. So I poopoo on the skeptics of this fun ad. This is a must see on this site of course.. 31,000 downloaders obviously agree!

Reviewer: Karma Hawk - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - March 30, 2005
Subject: Tobacco companies are lying to us.:cigarettes can't dance.
this is a funny advertisement for Lucky Strike Cigarretes featuring square dancing ciggarets, it's pretty cute actually.

Reviewer: lstriker - 2.00 out of 5 stars2.00 out of 5 stars - July 30, 2004
Subject: overrated
I've seen this commercial and I think its overrated. I wish someone would make a video of an underrated Lucky Strike campaign, their commercials of 1965-1966.

Reviewer: crampytheclown - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - January 16, 2004
Subject: Smoke 'em if you got 'em
Makes me want to start up all over again..and this time none of those sissy filtered butts. give me the real cowboy killers for that rich tobacco flavor.

Reviewer: plastron - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - January 12, 2004
Subject: lifted from Fischinger
I haven't seen this film, but I thought all might be interested to know that it was basically ripped-off from animated commercials that Oskar Fischinger produced for Muratti cigarettes in Germany in 1934 and 1935. Fischinger's films were a couple of minutes longer, and from the looks of these stills, more complex. They were a hit in Europe, and the American brands jumped at the chance to emulate the style. For more info on Fischinger, one of our century's most brilliant abstract animators, check www.oskarfischinger.org

Reviewer: dynayellow - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - August 20, 2003
Subject: Long day's journey into square-dancing
Reminds me of a grim student film, except that it's professional and supposed to make me want to buy these things, which is all the more terrifying. Ingmar Bergman, eat your heart out!

Reviewer: icrover - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - July 12, 2003
Subject: L.S.M.F...something...
Wow.

I won't deny that I was mesmerized by the dancing cigarettes. Having said that - whoever it was that originiated the ban on televised cigarette commercials should be given a medal. A big, shiny, golden medal.

Reviewer: kaabee - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - June 30, 2003
Subject: A fairly good commercial
Good vintage cigarette commercial. Some cigarette commercials were good, some were poor and some were just plain great. Growing up in the 50s and 60s I used to love some of the commercials. (Some of my favorites were the Marlboro ones and the Benson and Hedges 100 ones). This one is an OK one. I wish we could get some of the classic ones on this site.

Thanks

Reviewer: Cwilli - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - April 17, 2003
Subject: I huff and I puff
They would have used real square dancers that smoked but couldnt find any people that could dance a full minute without getting winded. However theres still something magical about dancing cigarettes.

Reviewer: Andy Fielding - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - March 10, 2003
Subject: Chilling
This erstwhile piece of fluff is more chilling than any conventional pro-tobacco piece of the period could ever be. A must.

Reviewer: EvilEbert - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - January 19, 2003
Subject: Brilliant piece of cinema
Surely, the giants of our era - Disney, Industrial Light and Magic - owe all their success to the innovators at Lucky Strike. Animation reaches new heights in this cancer dancer!

Shotlist

Lucky Strike cigarette commercial with stop-motion animation of square-dancing cigarettes.


CIGARETTES TELEVISION COMMERCIALS MARCHES MUSIC SURREALISM FANTASY HUMOR STOP MOTION ANIMATION Square dancing Dance and dancing (Square) Cigarettes Animation (stop-motion) Stop-motion animation Commercials Television (commercials) Advertising Lucky Strike (cigarettes) Trademarks Square dancing American Tobacco Company Songs Jingles Slogans ("L.S.M.F.T.")
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